Week 7: Wednesday

“Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock of which the holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, in which you tend the church of God that he acquired with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28.)

In commenting on these verses from today’s First Reading, Saint John Chrysostom writes:

“Do you see how many compelling necessities there are? “You were ordained by the Spirit,” he says, for this is what “the Holy Spirit has made you overseers” means. This is one. Then, “to care for the church of God.” This is another. And the third, “which he obtained with his own blood.” Through his words [Paul] shows that a great deal hinges on this and that matters of no small value are at risk, if, with the master not sparing even his own blood on behalf of his church, we look down upon our brothers’ salvation. For it was to reconcile enemies that he poured out his blood. Look, not only does he mention “wolves” but adds “fierce,” thereby hinting at their excess and recklessness. Even worse, he says that these wolves will arise from among themselves. This is exceedingly difficult to bear, since it is also a civil war. He is right when he says, “Take heed,” thereby showing that the matter is exceedingly serious (for it is the church), the venture great (for he redeemed it with blood) and the battle mighty and twofold.” (Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles, 44.)

Graciously grant to your Church,
O merciful God, that,
gathered by the Holy Spirit,
she may be devoted to You
with all her heart and
united in purity of intent.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen